|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
86:1-7 Our poverty and wretchedness, when felt, powerfully plead in our behalf at the throne of grace. The best self-preservation is to commit ourselves to God's keeping. I am one whom thou favourest, hast set apart for thyself, and made partaker of sanctifying grace. It is a great encouragement to prayer, to feel that we have received the converting grace of God, have learned to trust in him, and to be his servants. We may expect comfort from God, when we keep up our communion with God. God's goodness appears in two things, in giving and forgiving. Whatever others do, let us call upon God, and commit our case to him; we shall not seek in vain.
Verse 2. - Preserve my soul. It is one of the special offices of God to "preserve the souls of his saints" (Psalm 97:10). He is not only man's Creator, but his "Preserver" (Job 7:20; Job 10:12). For I am holy. The psalmist does not mean to claim for himself perfect holiness, but only that sincerity in religion which God's servants may rightly vindicate to themselves. O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee (comp, Psalm 34:22; Psalm 37:40).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Preserve my soul,.... Or life, which Saul sought after; and this prayer was heard: David was often remarkably preserved by the Lord from his attempts upon him; and so was the soul or life of Christ preserved in his infancy from Herod's malice; in the wilderness from wild beasts, and from perishing with hunger; and often from the designs of the Jews, to take away his life before his time; and he was supported in death, preserved from corruption in the grave, and raised from thence: instances there are of his praying for the preservation of his life, with submission to the will of God, in which he was heard, Matthew 26:39. The Lord is not only the preserver of the lives of men in a temporal sense, but he is the preserver of the souls of his people, their more noble part, whose redemption is precious; he keeps them from the evil of sin, and preserves them safe to his kingdom and glory; yea, their whole soul, body, and spirit, are preserved by him blameless, unto the coming of Christ:
for I am holy; quite innocent, as to the crime that was laid to his charge by Saul and his courtiers; or was kind, beneficent, and merciful, to others, and to such God shows himself merciful, they obtain mercy: or was favoured of God, to whom he had been bountiful, on whom he had bestowed many mercies and blessings; and therefore desires and hopes that, to the rest of favours, this of preservation might be added; or, as he was a sanctified person, and God had begun his work of grace in him, he therefore entreats the Lord would preserve him, and perfect his own work in him: some, as Aben Ezra observes, would have the sense to be,
"keep my soul until I am holy:''
so Arama interprets it,
"keep me unto the world to come, where all are holy:''
the character of an Holy One eminently and perfectly agrees with Christ, as well as the petition; see Psalm 16:1.
O thou, my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee; both temporally and spiritually: the arguments are taken from covenant interest in God, which is a strong one; from relation to him as a servant, not by nature only, but by grace; and from his trust and confidence in him; all which, as well as the petition, agree with Christ; see Psalm 22:1.
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